How to Write an Essay in Five Simple Steps

This is a quick guide for students who want to improve their essay writing skills. The following discussion presents a full guide on how to write essays that score good grades.

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Writing an essay aims at presenting position on a topic, which is often referred to as your argument. The essay is your opportunity to demonstrate that you can think critically about complex issues, and clearly communicate the conclusions you have reached as a result of your research.

Essays are usually assessed and graded based on how deeply you have engaged with the topic, how clearly you have presented your ideas and argument, and how well you have drawn on relevant evidence to support your ideas.

In this essay writing guide, you will find step-by-step explanations with examples ranging from how to start an essay, outlining process, how to write a compelling thesis statement, up to summarizing the main ideas of your essay in the conclusion.

We assume you understand the assignment and have done a good job in researching your topic. If not, here are articles to help you understand your assignment and how to research an essay.

Main Steps in Writing an essay

When writing an essay for your assignment or any other purpose, there are five steps to writing a great essay. These include:

Step I: Create an essay outline

An outline is the skeleton of your essay. It presents the basic structure of the essay. While writing the outline, the main idea is to convert the main points of the essay, into structural place-holders. You can think of a structural placeholder as template.

Step II: Write a 'catchy' introduction

When writing an introduction, you should typically use a ‘general to specific’ structure. For example, start by introducing the particular problem or topic the essay will address in a general sense to provide context, before highlighting the specific position and line of argument.

Step III: Write Body Paragraphs

Use the main points in the essay outline to build, develop, and write body paragraphs

Step IV: Write the Conclusion Paragraph

Writing a good conclusion paragraph for your essay helps tie your argument stated at the introduction to the main points discussed in the body. A conclusion should use the specific-general formula which is the opposite of the introduction paragraph.

Step IV: Final Touches [Confirming, Editing, & Proofreading]
  • Ensure all citations in your essay are referenced.
  • Proofread and edit your essay.

Getting Started

Now that you have a general idea of what writing essays is all about, let us dive into each of the above sections and discuss using examples, what you should include in each STEP. First, let’s look into how to create the perfect outline for your essay.

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